Recent Federal Actions to Expand Broadband: Are We Making Progress?

March 17, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “Recent Federal Actions to Expand Broadband:  Are We Making Progress?” at 10:00 am on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. The hearing will review recent federal actions to expand broadband coverage, including the Federal Communications Commission’s actions on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), the Re-Connect program, and moves to enhance federal coordination among these existing programs. It also will consider the measures directed at broadband expansion adopted by Congress in response to the pandemic, like the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) broadband grant programs for Tribes, unserved areas, and minority-serving institutions. Witnesses will have the opportunity to discuss the effectiveness of these programs in delivering connectivity to unserved and underserved Americans throughout the country.


  • Dr. Christopher Ali, Associate Professor, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia
  • Mr. Justin Forde, Senior Director, Government Relations, Midco
  • The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Former Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • Mr. Jon Wilkins, Partner, Quadra Partners

*Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

10:00 am

Full Committee (Hybrid)


This hearing will take place in the Russell Senate Office Building 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on

In order to maintain physical distancing as advised by the Office of the Attending Physician, seating for credentialed press will be limited throughout the course of the hearing. Due to current limited access to the Capitol complex, the general public is encouraged to view this hearing via the live stream.





Majority Statement

  • Chair Maria Cantwell

Minority Statement

  • Ranking Member Roger Wicker

Witness Panel 1